Small isn’t always delightful, and that’s possibly why the Ford Fiesta has ballooned in the four decades it has been on the market.
Tim Barnes-Clay enjoys the All New Fiesta ST-Line at the European Media Launch
Many have driven the Ford Fiesta at some point in their lives. This is because the Ford is stress-free to pilot; it’s cheap as chips to maintain and it’s undemanding to find one to buy or lease. Besides, in the case of second-hand Fiestas, if they ever break-down, there’s always someone around who can repair them.
In my student years, I drove a battered 1979 Fiesta 1300 Sport. It was silver with black stripes, ending with a satisfied ‘S’ on the flanks. It was more brown than silver, due to corrosion. But it was a lovely little car that got me through a hard-up final year of student journalism. That was in 1993, but nothing much has altered, in terms of what the Fiesta fundamentally offers. Certainly, 2017’s Ford Fiesta, now in its eighth embodiment, will suit any lifestyle.
The selection of Fiestas available embraces the tidy Titanium, the swanky ST-Line and the venerable Vignale models with a distinctive new crossover version coming soon. The All new version of the car features refinements to engineering and is buttressed by a group of features and technologies. Across the range these consist of: tech to detect pedestrians, hands-free parking, a panoramic glass roof and a premium Bang & Olufsen audio system.
When you first look at the 2017 Fiesta face on, it’s not radically different, but check out the fronts on each model each one has subtle design differences whether sporty or luxury. Gawp at its backside and it’s another tale. Wider, flatter taillights give the car a sweeter presence than before. And, vitally, it soon becomes apparent that the Ford is now more commodious. Not only is it 71mm longer and 12mm wider, 4mm has been added to the wheelbase.
I couldn’t get behind the wheel of every 2017 Fiesta at the European media drive in Spain – so, I went for the venerated ST Line trim, with the most compelling 140ps variety of the reputable 1.0-litre three-cylinder EcoBoost petrol unit. The ST Line models get a supplementary portion of magic, thanks to a body kit with deep front bumpers, a rear spoiler and side skirts. I also got to spend time in Ford’s most luxurious Fiesta yet the Vignale.
Inside, the extra wheelbase length creates more room for rear seat passengers’ legs. The boot is also bigger at 292-litres, and everything has been transformed in the Fiesta’s cabin. Most of the low-priced plastics are gone; the indiscriminate assortment of buttons has disappeared and the outmoded, one-colour screens, have been exchanged for full colour ones. It’s a lot more ‘chic’ inside the All New Ford Fiesta. There are cushioned, soft materials in most places and the rest of the hatch feels solidly manufactured.
The most conspicuous bit of tech in the Fiesta is the substantial touchscreen which is sat atop the dashboard. Very clear and instinctive to use. You can also pair your smartphone via Android Auto and Apple Car Play. My ST Line was endowed with an awesome sounding Bang & Olufsen audio unit, too. Ford’s sync 3 also works well, with the ability to use voice commands for sat nav directions and other useful commands.
But what’s the 2017 Fiesta like on the move? Well, the ST Line rides lower and firmer, and that means you get a good, flat, line through corners. But the suspension isn’t so rigid that you’re uncomfortable – indeed it does a fine job of absorbing any lumps and bumps caused by traumatised tarmac. Additionally, the driving position is outstanding, with good seat and steering wheel adjustment, and the gear lever and pedals are placed so you never feel misaligned in your seat.
The all-new 2017 Ford Fiesta 1.0T 140 ST-Line is very muted on the move, and it’s no sloth, with zero to 62mph arriving in 9.0 seconds. More relevantly for most motorists, you can coax an average of 62mpg out of the petrol tank.
To cut a long story short, the latest Fiesta is one of the most important cars for the United Kingdom, and it’s clear to see that the marque eight version of the hatchback isn’t going to disillusion. The 1.0T 140 ST-Line is a blast to drive, yet it’s real-world and cost-effective. It essentially ticks all the right boxes – if a small family car with a bit of ‘vigour’ is what you’re seeking, but if you’re not the Fiesta line now has more models to tempt you including a Crossover coming soon.
Car reviewed: Ford Fiesta ST Line 1.0-litre EcoBoost 3 Door – ST Line prices start £16,145 price as tested £18,295 0-62mph 9.0 secs Top speed 125mph limited Fuel Economy combined 53.4mpg CO2 emissions 102g/km Engine 3 cylinder 1.0-litre EcoBoost PetrolMax Power [email protected] Torque [email protected] Transmission 6-speed manual
Sporty interior, handling and performance
New Bose sound system
Tech and safety systems
None to think of
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